Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Classes and the weekend

It’s been really nice finally settling into a routine! My first week of classes went really well. I’m really liking Polish so far, even though it’s super crazy and hard and confusing. It’ll be a lot of work, but I’m excited for it! We sang for the first time and it made me miss my Russian class so much. The song we sang was called Panie Janie and it ended with bim bam bom, the same as one of my favorite songs, мальенкий гном!:

Panie Janie. Panie Janie
Rano wstań, Rano wstaź
Wszystkie dzwony biją
Wszystkie dzwony biją
Bim, bam, bom
Bim, bam, bom

AND it goes to the tune of one of our classic songs in Russian:

Я не знаю, я не знаю
Ничего, ничего
Ничего не знаю, ничего не знаю
Хорошо, хорошо

It was so much fun! I don't even know what the American version is that goes to the same tune. Whatever. Today in Polish we learned how to talk about people's nationalities, professions, and about our family. It's been great so far. I've only had my Building Sovietness class once, but I'm hoping that it'll be as interesting as the first day made it seem. It's just so nice to finally get homework and be in class and have a schedule! I am so much more at ease in routines and it's nice to finally feel like I'm actually living here, instead of just traveling.

This weekend was a perfect mix between doing nothing and doing a lot. Friday night I went to the Russian Society social. It was fun and I'm glad I went, but it was super intimidating. Basically everyone there was a native speaker. And I was just there like что? But once I told people I was American and only spoke a little bit of Russian, they spoke a lot more slowly to me, or just switched to English. I'm planning on joining the group since they have lessons with a native speaker which I really want to do! Already after only an hour or two of listening to Russian, I could tell that I was remembering so much more and a lot of it was coming back. It was also really interesting to meet so many different nationalities who all spoke the same language! Maybe about half the people were from Russia, and the other half were from all over: Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Kazahkstan, Armenia, etc.

Saturday I went to a self-defense class, sponsored by the Women's Network and it was awesome (and free!). It was so empowering and I feel like I learned a lot! I'm going to have to miss the next 3 classes, since they are all on Saturdays and I'll be gone the next 3 Saturdays. So I'm really glad I was able to go to at least one! That night some of us Luther Notts went to the Goose Fair, which is an annual fair that happens in Nottingham and has been going for 719 (?) years, the longest traveling fair of its kind in Europe. It started out as a fair for selling geese (hence the name), but now it's basically just lots of fun rides and food. It was basically like the Midway of the Minnesota State Fair, but with a lot less space, more people, and pricier rides. The rides are more impressive than the Midway rides, like the ones at Valleyfair, but they were too expensive so I didn't actually go on any. £6 for one ride? No. But I got some donuts and they were amazing!!! I miss donuts. Then afterwards we came back to the flat and watched Spice World, because who doesn't like the Spice Girls??

On Sunday a few of us went to Sherwood Forest. One of the benefits of living in Notting-ah ha ha-ham! I of course was humming the songs from the Disney version of Robin Hood under my breath basically the entire time I was there. It is a really pretty area and we had a beautiful day for it! I walked to the Major Oak (supposedly where Robin Hood had his meeting place) and back and it was a nice trip. 

The Major Oak

This week is going to be a busy one: Tuesday night we have class for our house course with Bob, Wednesday night we're going to a play, Thursday I'll be going to the Robin Hood Beer Festival (over 1000 beers and over 200 ciders!), and then this weekend I'm heading back to London! The National Portrait Gallery is opening a new exhibit called Elizabeth I & Her People so if you need me, I'll be there, crying. And the most important news I could ever give to the world: I just reserved my ticket to see my favorite historian/author/person in the world, Alison Weir, give a talk about her new book at a library in Leicester on February 7th. I am beyond excited. It is going to be amazing, I'm sure. All my dreams coming true! Finally going to meet the person who has been one of the biggest influences in my life for the past 8ish years! If you're reading this, you probably know me and that I love history. Obvi. Alison Weir is my hero. She's my girl. I just can't wait! Didn't even have to use my AK, I had to say it was a good day!!!

Shout out to my big sister Carlye for RUNNING A MARATHON on Sunday!!!!!!!! Can I get a what what?! She is so inspiring!

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